Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Beginning of the End?

I knew I was doing far too well.

Apart from my few days in May, which were not infection related, I haven't actually been ill since early April, maybe even March. Of course it couldn't last could it!

The last few days I've been feeling unusually tired so I should have guessed something was up but put it down to disturbed sleep due to Andrew's early starts. However last night sent me into a bit of a panic. I arrived home utterly drained. I honestly don't know how I did the last hour and a half at my desk. I was tired, I was hot and I just didn't feel right. So I decided to counteract the early wake ups with an early to bed and was under the duvet by half past nine. Around two I woke up gasping for breath and with that horrible, familiar grating feeling in my chest. Yep I'd got another infection, or so I thought. I took my SATs and were astounded to find them reading at 91%. That's not normal for a chest infection. 81% yes but I've only been in the 90's when I'm feeling particularly well. I took it again on the other hand and got the same result so took my inhalers and tried to get back to sleep. Eventually I fell asleep and woke around nine to find that Peter had called work to say I wasn't coming.

I took my SATs again and they were still up high so I wandered to the bathroom and took my temperature, it was normal but my chest felt it was on fire. I got Peter to listen to my chest. We were given a stethoscope by Andrew who taught Peter what to listen for and it has been a great way of detecting chest infections early. Despite an extensive listen he could detect no crackling, whistling or wheezing that usually accompanies an infection. A quick trip to the doctor's an hour later and this was confirmed. No chest infection. The conclusion was it's probably a mild virus. The advice spend the next couple of days resting and taking in plenty of fluids. I've also been given antibiotics to take if I get worse or develop a productive cough. All being well I should be fine by next week. I must say I do feel better after such a long sleep but my chest still aches. I will follow advice and keep an eye on things. Maybe what I need most is rest.

I am beginning to wonder whether it is time to reassess my working hours. Currently I work 0800 - 1630 Monday to Thursday. Add in the travelling time and I'm doing a nine hour day. Although it is nowhere near the twelve hour days my colleagues are doing it is still quite a lot. May be too much. The problem is that's it's relentless at the moment. It is so hot, due to the broken air conditioning, and despite having fans all they really do is move the hot air around. My lovely colleagues always make sure I have a fan and I've been given leave to take longer or extra breaks if I need to but it is so difficult to do this. How can I sit there taking a breather when all my colleagues are answering one call after another and there are calls stacking? I just cannot do it! As a result I return home exhausted from heat and with a throat and chest sore from the effort of all that talking. So I wonder if this, whatever it is, is just my body saying 'stop, you just can't keep doing this to me'.

Maybe the time has come to slow down, or maybe once the hot weather passes and we are plunged back into winter, I will find it easier. It is so difficult to decide what to do. I don't want to give up work altogether, I need my friends and colleagues, they keep me sane, but am I sacrificing my physical health for the sake of my mental well being? Arrrggghhh! Why is everything to do with this illness so bloody difficult?

I read today that there are currently fifteen people waiting for heart and lung transplants, three of them children. That's one less than last month but still too much competition for my liking. And of course those waiting just hearts or just lungs are at the top of the queue anyway. Those of us needing heart and lungs are expensive patients as the operation will save only one person, used separately the heart and lungs could save two, or even three, people. When you are up against odds like that you can see why I'm not confident of another call. Yes I know I've also been listed for lungs but I still think of myself as needing heart and lungs because that is everyone's preferred option. Just lungs is very much an emergency measure and one that has more likelihood of being unsuccessful..

Oh dear that does sound very 'poor me', it's not intended to it is just a statement of fact. In reality I have as much chance as any of the fifteen others, it's just that on days like today it feels very much like me against the world.

Right time for lunch, at least it isn't another soggy canteen sandwich. Every cloud etc...